Social Media Feeds Iran Resistance

Mir Hossein Mousavi میر حسین موسوی میرحسین موسوی: در کنار مردم خواهم مان Facebook pageدIf Czechoslovakia 1989 was the Velvet Revolution, Iran ’09 is the Twitter Revolution.

This is when Facebook is more powerful than the Ayatollah, when YouTube replaces CNN, when the Twitter stream #IranElection replaces Associated Press. With tape recorders, cell phones, video cams, cameras, and computers Iranian protesters are battling tear gas and truncheons and bullets. Mousavi’s willingness to embrace martyrdom  was conveyed via Twitter – his moves are transmitted through his Facebook page: 

Great single source for constantly updated news from Iran aggregated from multiple social media channels:  The Lede, The New York Times News Blog.

Twitter: @nytimeskristof All hail the Iranian photographers braving the streets! Great pix at

See Twitter on the Barricades: Six Lessons Learned, NYTimes, 6/21/2009

Update NYTimes, The Lede, Saturday, June 20, 4:54 p.m. New York Times Op-Ed columnist Roger Cohen was out on Tehran’s streets on Saturday and has filed this account of what he witnessed. Here is some of what he reports:

I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”

Another green-eyed woman, Mahin, aged 52, staggered into an alley clutching her face and in tears. Then, against the urging of those around her, she limped back into the crowd moving west toward Freedom Square. Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” accompanied her.

There were people of all ages. I saw an old man on crutches, middle-aged office workers and bands of teenagers. Unlike the student revolts of 2003 and 1999, this movement is broad. [...]

Later, as night fell over the tumultuous capital, from rooftops across the city, the defiant sound of “Allah-u-Akbar” — “God is Great” — went up yet again, as it has every night since the fraudulent election, but on Saturday it seemed stronger.

Social Media Sustains Resistance in Iran

 Can social media help spark and sustain a revolution?Tehran, Iran, June 20, 2009

Twitter sources:

RT @grandmatia Many governments worry about guns in their people’s hands, Iran fears computers in theirs! #IranElection #NetRevolution 

Heartbreaking Images From The Iran Green Revolution 6/2009 (graphic images – discretion advised)


Tehran Minute by Minute

Twitpic from Tehran Saturday morning, June 20, 2009We cannot underestimate the importance of what is going on in Iran now.  Read The Lede  in The New York Timesfor minute-by-minute, sometimes second-by-second updates. This is not original, on-the-ground reporting – it is scans of Twitter, Facebook, other news sources, images and sounds being broadcast out of the country through social media and traditional means.

‘Reporters’ are locked out of the news; citizen journalists are capturing events internally and beaming out to the world. A television station in Los Angeles sent 1,000 tiny USB-enabled cameras disguised as pens inside the country. Facebook is now available in Persian, Google is translating Mousavi’s web feed into English. The picture on the left was sent via Twitter.

This is one more example – perhaps the most telling yet – of how social media and citizen journalists are reshaping how we gather and transmit news. Iranians will get smarter about how to get around the government clampdown on ‘evil’ media and the rest of the world, hungry to know what is going on in Iran, will aid them.

This past week has been a revelation. “Where is my vote?” – the repeated message of protesters, in English, is something we have asked in recent U.S. elections (we have a long history of manipulated elections). They speak of Revolution and Democracy and every citizen counting. I cannot pretend to understand the complexities of the Iranian culture but the events of the last week show that we have similar aspirations for justice and freedom and they need to be supported. (Several sources report clashes between the police and protesters).